Marguerite Carroll BakerJuly 5, 1925 ~ September 23, 2017 (age 92)
Marguerite Carroll Baker was born on July 25, 1925 in South Church, Essex, England. Her family moved to Thorpe Bay where she spent her childhood. Later she attended Malvern Hills boarding school. During WWII Carroll served in the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) where she decoded messages from ships in the North Sea and coded outgoing messages. After the war she trained as a nurse at St. George's Hospital on the outskirts of London and became a nurse midwife in the east end of London, bicycling to private homes for pre and post-natal care and deliveries. Around 1955, enticed by a captivating photo of sunny southern California, she secured the necessary sponsorship to move to Santa Monica for a two-year appointment as a nurse in the radiology department of UCLA's medical center. With return plane ticket in hand, she changed plans when Ten-Broeck Baker proposed to her. They were married in All Saints by the Sea Episcopal Church in Montecito, CA in 1959. Her two children James Mark Baker and Zara Elizabeth Baker were born in the 1960s in Santa Monica. In the 1970s,
Ten-Broeck's engineering career in the aerospace industry moved the family between southern CA, Michigan and Connecticut. In 1976 the family moved to Ventura, CA to transform chaparral-covered land into an avocado orchard. During this time Carrol also worked as a nurse in the Ojai Manor rehab center. In 1991 they retired to Covelo in Mendocino county where Carroll lovingly cared for Ten-Broeck until his passing in 1998. Here she developed deep friendships and community, and was a devoted parishioner of St. Francis in the Redwoods Episcopal church. Carroll joined her children and grandchildren Anson and Devon Baker-Berry in Arcata in 2011 where she yet again made friends and community: in St. Alban's Episcopal Church, with her neighbors at Bayview Apartments, through OLLI classes and by attending music concerts at HSU and elsewhere. At the age of 92 she peacefully re-emerged into the non-physical while at home, supported by her daughter Zara and the compassionate staff of Hospice and Agape Home Care. Sharp as a tack, she was conscious until hours before her passing. Carroll lived life with enthusiastic passion. She was the inspiration and force behind the family's many camping and hiking trips. She loved the national parks and the outdoor hiking and camping opportunities in the United States - something that did not exist in the England of her youth. Her appreciation of California's beaches and the ocean stemmed from her early days in Malibu and continued right through to visits to Trinidad Head and Samoa during her last days.
During the late 60s and early 70s she enjoyed sailing in southern California, including racing their 8 meter class wooden sloop in the Channel Islands and down to Mexico. Listening to classical music gave her immense enjoyment, particularly live performances, which transported her to realms of beauty and rich emotion. She also enjoyed live theatre. Carroll was a loyal friend. She maintained rich friendships for decades across continents and oceans through regular correspondence and the occasional phone call. She placed great value in letter writing. Her own letters were thoughtful, supportive and engaging. Carroll embraced life with grace, dignity, resilience, and good humor. She had a quick wit and was a consummate storyteller. We will always remember her stories of boarding school, her work in the Women's Royal Naval Service, and her life as a nurse at St. George's and later as a midwife in east London. Her broad-mindedness, unshakable ethical foundation, and politically progressive views had deep roots and grew like a tall tree over the years, from helping to found a chapter of Beyond War in Ojai back in the mid-80s to her more recent support for the LGBTQ movement. She took a sincere interest in others' lives, and vicariously experienced through active listening the experiences of others (including eagerly engaging with stories from Mark and his family's sailing voyage through the South Pacific during precious daily phone calls in her final months).
Carroll was a devoted mother and grandmother, a stalwart friend, and a valued member of her many communities. Carroll was preceded in death by her husband Ten-Broeck, her brother David Williams, and many dear friends from England and Southern California. She is survived by her son Mark, daughter Zara, daughter-in-law, Kim Berry, grandsons Anson and Devon, sister Beryl Hunter, sister-in-law Jean Williams, nieces and nephews Hillary and Pendril Bental, Daniel and Denise Williams, Peter Moffat and Mary Sullivan, Harry Moffat, dear friends June Ash, Maureen Corey, Jill Fitzgerald, Shirley Kyle, Carol B'ct, Judee Mayer, Yvonne Everett, Ivy Mayer, parishioners of St Francis in the Redwoods Episcopal Church in Willits, St Alban's Episcopal Church in Arcata, and neighbors and friends at Bayview Apartments. We are grateful for the support of Mother Sara, Emily Arendt and fellow parishioners of St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Bob the Hospice chaplain, Dr. Ellen Mahoney for her outstanding medical care, and the staff of Hospice and Agape Home Care for providing professional, compassionate and loving care for Carroll throughout her final weeks of life. A celebration of Carroll's life will be held at St. Alban's Episcopal Church in August 2018, upon the return of Mark and his family from their sailing voyage.
Condolences may be written to the family at www.HumboldtCremation.com